Paper Clips

"Excellent"

Paper Clips Review


Films dealing with Holocaust situations are everywhere. At least one is nominated every year for an Academy Award. Many are told from a Jewish or survivor point of view in an effort to humanize a situation gradually slipping from general consciousness. Sometimes there are so many that it can get overwhelming and you begin to shut certain information out. It's not for lack of caring about the atrocities that were committed so much as hearing it so many times before.

The story of Paper Clips is engrossing because it comes from the entirely opposite end of the spectrum, seeking out knowledge because it simply wasn't there before. A principal and a couple of teachers at a middle school in the middle of Tennessee decided to use the events of the Holocaust to learn along with their children about the nature and effects of intolerance.

The extremely articulate Principal Hooper sets an erudite tone of naiveté of the larger world beyond this small town of just 1,600 residents. Admittedly the population is extremely white, so her intent was to teach about diversity even if it wasn't seen on a daily basis. The Holocaust is chosen because people were targeted for being something they had no control over. From there, the use of the paper clip is symbolic of the Norwegian use of the symbol during that time period as resistance. Hence, they set out to collect the amount of paper clips of those who died, in response to one child asking what six million looked like.

After garnering media attention from several sources, and letters from all over the world, the lovely folks of Whitwell Middle School extended their collection into further, exemplary, and well considered educational uses. Even with said attention, and positive feedback from celebrities and politicians alike, there isn't a single moment where you question the integrity of their purpose to open eyes and spread words of human kindness.

Some of the strongest moments in the 84-minute film are the adults speaking of the prejudices they found in themselves during the project, and the assumptions we all instantly make upon meeting people. It's truly moving to see older members of a community learning about something for the first time while teaching the subject.

The only emotional impetus comes from people reading their own letters as they were sent to these children. It may be helpful from a filmmaker or distributor perspective to have Tom Bosley reading on camera, but it unfortunately distracts from the central, contagious, warm-spirited growth taking place in this community.

It may not be shot or edited all that immaculately, or cut together with any specific artistic intention, but the purpose of the film and the effects it has on the participants and viewer are no less profound. It comes across a bit as an after school special, but the message attached is genuine and worth listening to.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 82 mins

In Theaters: Friday 4th August 2006

Box Office USA: $1.0M

Distributed by: Miramax Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
Fresh: 38 Rotten: 15

IMDB: 7.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Elliot Berlin, Joe Fab

Producer: Joe Fab, Robert M. Johnson, Ari Daniel Pinchot

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.